NIU and CMU to Meet at Ralph McKinzie This Weekend

GO HUSKIES Jake Hermsen will start for the Huskies on Saturday
Jake Hermsen will start for the Huskies on Saturday

May 3, 2012

DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois baseball will return to its home diamond Friday afternoon for a Mid-American Conference series with West division foe Central Michigan. The Huskies trail the Chippewas two games in the MAC West standings for third place.

- Northern Illinois is 2-7 in MAC games at Ralph McKinzie Field in 2012.
- The Huskies have taken two of the last three series versus the Chippewas and are 4-5 in the last nine contests.
- In the last six contests, games between NIU and its opponents have only been decided by two or less runs. The Huskies are 3-3 in that span.
- Junior Jamison Wells is ranked 29th in the country in stolen bases this season and is nine stolen bases shy of setting the career record at Northern Illinois.
- Senior closer Kyle Glancy is 13th in the country in saves and No. 1 in the MAC.

FRIDAY         RHP Taylor Nawrocki (4-4) 68.1 IP | 4.87 ERA | 44 SO | 35 BB
SATURDAY    LHP Jake Hermsen (3-5) 64.2 IP | 5.43 ERA | 53 SO | 32 BB
SUNDAY        RHP Tony Manville (2-6) 65.2 IP | 5.98 ERA | 28 SO | 17 BB

FRIDAY         RHP Zach Cooper (4-4) 75.1 IP | 3.35 ERA | 80 SO | 39 BB
SATURDAY    RHP Pat Kaminska (3-2) 43.2 IP | 3.09 ERA | 29 SO | 11BB
SUNDAY        To Be Announced

Fans can follow all three three games via GameTracker on Visit the baseball schedule and click on the corresponding game. Fans can also follow along on Twitter, by following @NIUAthletics or @NIU_Baseball.

Northern Illinois played two midweek games against foes from the state of Illinois, falling to Northwestern at Fifth Third Bank Field, 2-1, and defeating UIC, 11-9. The Huskies and the Wildcats were in a 90 minute rain delay to start the game and both left runners on base throughout the game. NIU made a run at a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, but fell to NU. Against the Flames, Northern Illinois was red hot at the plate, combining for 17 hits and three homeruns, two of which were stroked by Jeff Zimmerman.

The Chips are 20-25 this season and an even 9-9 in Mid-American Conference play. CMU has one win against a ranked opponent this season, defeating then-No. 23 Stetson on Feb. 25, 7-5, and recently defeated Notre Dame, 9-4, on April 25. In MAC play the Chips has won two series this season, defeating Buffalo March 23-25 and Akron April 27-29.

Individually Jordan Dean and William Arnold lead Central Michigan in batting average at .363 and .344, respectively. Dean has knocked in 35 runs and has a team leading six homers, while Nate Theunissen has 38 RBI and 10 doubles. Arnold has totaled four RBI this season along with 29 runs batted-in. On the mound, Friday starter Zach Cooper has a 4-4 record with a an ERA of 3.35 and two complete games pitched. He also boasts 80 strikeouts and 35 walks.

Northern Illinois and Central Michigan has had a long standing history over the years, as the two teams have met a total 64 times over the years with NIU trailing CMU all-time, 21-43. In the last nine games of the series, the Huskies have won four to the Chippewas five (4-5). The two teams first met in 1951, when the Huskies swept the two game series, 6-2, 7-5, en route to the Huskies IIAC Championship and enshrinement into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.

Central Michigan        
NIU trails CMU, 21-43 (Last nine: 4-5)
5/1/11    L 13-1
4/30/11  L 3-1
4/29/11  L 7-6
5/2/10    W 3-2
5/1/10    L 8-7        
4/30/10  W 4-1
5/3/09    L 22-4
5/2/09    W 11-5
5/1/09    W 16-3

The Huskies and their opponents have kept within arms reach of other the last six games, as the final score in those games were by two runs or less. In that stretch the Huskies own a 3-3 record with two wins coming against MAC West division foe Eastern Michigan.

The Huskies have played 13 errorless games this season and had a stretch of four-straight games without committing error April 25-29 against Bradley in a midweek tilt and in their series at EMU. It was the first time in 2012 that Northern Illinois went an entire series without an error.

The drama ensued Wednesday night at Les Miller Field on the UIC campus between the Huskies and the Flames as both teams combined for 20 runs and 27 hits. Sophomore Jeff Zimmerman hit two home runs, a double and six RBI to finish the day 3-for-4 and almost added another homer in the third when he hit a deep fly ball to the warning track. In his final bat in the top of the ninth, Zimmerman reached base after being hit by pitcher Tomas Michelson with one runner on base.

In his last two starts, sophomore Eli Anderson has held a fantastic strikeout-to-walk ratio, fanning 15 and walking two. On April 25 the sophomore totaled a career-high seven innings of work and a then-career high seven strikeouts with only one walk. On Wednesday night against UIC, he hurled five innings but amassed a new season-high eight punch-outs. The Glenview, Ill. native owns a 1-2 record an ERA of 7.24 with five starts and 15 appearances under his belt.

In three starts last week behind the plate, sophomore Joe Battaglia had a big week for the Huskies and proved his worth. The Westchester, Ill. native was 5-for-9 at the plate with three runs, including a double and catching one runner stealing base. Battaglia is batting .241 this season in 54 at-bats with eight runs, a homerun, a double and four RBI.

Senior Alex Jones has cranked out the two-baggers in 2012 totaling 17 in 43 games this season, putting him 32nd in the the NCAA in doubles/game (0.39). His most impressive stretch of the season was five in five games as he recorded two against Southern Illinois March 16, another versus Illinois March 18 and added two more against Illinois-Chicago March 20 in the home-opener. As a freshman, Jones hit nine in 47 games played. He is third all-time in NIU history with 51 in 200 games played.

Junior Taylor Nawrocki has been an anchor for NIU as a starter lately, pitching 46.2 innings for the Huskies and owning 4-2 record in his last six starts. He has two combined shutouts this year, winning an eight inning 1-0 decision against Eastern Michigan Friday April 27 and a 3-0 shutout over Illinois March 18, en route to MAC West Pitcher of the Week honors March 20.

April 13 against Miami, senior Troy White finished the game 0-for-2 at the plate with two strikeouts. However, White drove in three runs on three sacrifice flies, including the winning run in the top of the ninth to lead NIU to an 8-7 victory.

The folowing Huskies are the Mid-American Conference leaders in their respective statistical categories. Check it out and see for yourself.

Category         Player                Total    No. 2
Stolen Bases    Jamison Wells    24        22
Appearances    Kyle Glancy       26        22
Saves              Kyle Glancy       11        6

The Huskies will have the midweek off as finals will be underway and will return to the road for a series at Western Michigan May 11-13.



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